Welcome to Provenance Month

We meet Kiwi’s (New Zealanders) all the time who are shocked to find out that Triumph & Disaster is a born and bred, Aotearoa, New Zealand brand.

Part of me is proud of this fact. Years ago in a past life I used to market a vodka brand from NZ called 42 below, my job was to get Americans to understand our humour and learn where NZ was – thanks Peter Jackson and lord of the rings :)

When we started T&D we did not want to be another ‘streams and mountains’ brand from New Zealand, we had been inspired by brands like ‘42Below’ and ‘Charlies’ who showed us character was more important than cliche. We wanted to be known for our fresh take on men’s grooming, our punk (challenger) ethos and the efficacy of our great products. We wanted to help customers see and experience a skincare brand that spoke to them and delivered on their needs. 

Our argument was always that being from NZ (or anywhere for that matter) does not in itself mean we are the best skincare on the market, other more important factors determine this, quality of ingredients, science of the formulation, insights of the chemists and so on. So, although provenance is important, we felt it should come later in the customers journey of discovery.

Our intuition was that saying NZ over and over was not working hard enough at the key touch points informing a customer’s decision making process. Like a Kiwi in NYC going to a party and introducing himself as NZ, then saying they are made in NZ, before telling the host that New Zealand is where they are from. It does not make for an entertaining guest. Much better to be the visitor breakdancing on the dance floor, singing the wrong lyrics while demanding another drink from the bar, when the host asks their name they give it, followed by ‘I’m from New Zealand’.

Provenance then is important, but only after you have already got someone’s attention, provenance on its own or as a thing unto itself, is at best awkward, at worst boring. 

So why now do provenance month?

Well, fact is we are proud Kiwi’s, and we figure we should let people know. Right now, it feels like Kiwis are doing it tough and we all need to pull together and support each other. Not just so people know our brand is Kiwi, but also so others know Kiwis’ make great brands and great products, that we are more than just streams and mountains (and hobbits).

So here we go…


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